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It’s that time of year again when we are determined to start fresh. We want to make big changes and stick with them at all cost. Yet many of us start with good intentions and soon we have forgotten our resolutions and feel bad that we have no willpower to follow through for any significant amount of time.

It’s those small choices in every moment that determine the shape our future takes.

One way to enhance our willpower is through the practice of meditation. Meditation activates the Buddhi, also known as the wise mind. The Buddhi is the part of the mind that allows us to see the bigger picture and make wise choices. With meditation practice, we clear away the mist and the haze of our minds and let clarity and intuitions emerge. Clarity and intuition help us to make choices that support what we want to create for ourselves. Our day-to-day choices have a big impact on creating the outcomes we desire. With each conscious choice we begin to shape our lives and strengthen our will power. It’s those small choices in every moment that determine the shape our future takes. Our choices lead to actions and those actions support the fruition of our deepest desires.

How Does Meditation Strengthen the Mind and Our Will?

When we meditate we don’t indulge the mind in what is arising and dissipating but we maintain a point of focus such as the breath, a word, a prayer, or even a mantra. We then bear witness to the ordinary thoughts and sensations that come and go in the mind without judging or labeling those thoughts. As thoughts come and go we take notice and then return the mind to its resting point. Without feeding them, everyday thoughts and feelings begin to gently unwind and lose their hold over us. We can then choose to let go of those thoughts and redirect our attention to our point of focus. This conscious choosing to let go and return to our point of focus is what also builds our will power. It allows our wise mind, our witnessing mind, the Buddhi to become stronger.

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The Choices that Serve Us

When the Buddhi is strong, our intuition and wisdom shine. We begin to align with the choices that serve and support what is best for us in the moment. So when we see that piece of candy or cake and our senses are telling us to go for it, the wise mind can intervene like a good parent and remind us of the outcome of the choice we are making. It sees the bigger picture where the senses are only interested in satisfying themselves in the moment. The Buddhi might say “ You know, if you eat that cake you will not be staying on track with your goals to lose weight and stay healthy. Maybe just let yourself appreciate it and then have a healthy meal that will satisfy your hunger right now.”

We all hear the voice of our wise mind, but when the mind isn’t clear our senses and lower mind override those words. We indulge in things that satisfy the moment but afterwards we feel badly that we were unable to exercise our will. This kind of moment-by-moment decision-making is what allows up to stay on track with our resolutions. We can resolve to do something out of place of deep understanding of our own needs while doing the things that are necessary to support those wise decisions. We are then able to stay aligned with our higher purpose and deeper goals.

A simple daily meditation practice will help to strengthen your resolve and sharpen the wise mind. As your meditation practice becomes more established you might even find that there is no need for resolutions because you are living in a way that supports exactly what you want to create for yourself in every moment.

What different choices have you made after starting a meditation practice?

Contributed by

Susi Amendola
Stress Management Specialist

What have you done to remind yourself of the things that have meaning for you?

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